Thursday, December 27, 2007

What to do when you're a gondolier in Venice and an ambulance boat approaches

So you’re a gondolier in Venice, you’ve got some nice, young tourist folks on board, you’re taking them for a peaceful, relaxing cruise on the Grand Canal when you hear it: the siren.

That siren, accompanied by the sound of a boat engine in full throttle, can mean only one thing – an ambulance boat is fast approaching.
So you row quickly to the side of the Grand Canal, acting like nothing is wrong but all the while, worrying that you might not get out of the way in time.
The ambulance boat approaches fast. You think to yourself “man, things were going just perfectly until this guy decided to come ripping through the scene”.

You give the guy a dirty look.
As the ambulance boat tears past you, you look at them, (those punk kids!) hoping that at least one of them will look your way so you can give them one of those insulting gestures – the ones only Italians can effectively give.
When the wake of the boat starts to rock your gondola, you tell your passengers about how you “know the guy driving the boat” and how he owes you a drink now. You then point out a building where Marco Polo supposedly lived, and you use a rowing technique your uncle taught you to keep the boat from rocking. You complain to yourself about the problems you must deal with, and then you remember that you’re a gondolier in Venice. And you forget about that stupid ambulance boat and smile – ‘cause life is good.

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